"Why not just send local Han Chinese Christians into the Dong areas?" That is a good question, and has indeed been tried in many different ways. Like all of our methods and plans, it has its advantages and disadvantages. And regardless, it is going to happen and is something which we should keep in prayer.
The first thing to remember is that it is easy for those of us on the other side of the world from China to think of Han Chinese as "local". Yet, to the Dong people, the Han are not local. The Han are either "those people who live in the county seat and own all the businesses" or, further still from the Dong farming communities, "those people who come from the big city hours away".
Yes, the Han people are closer in culture and distance than those of us from other countries, but that does not necessarily mean better at communicating the gospel in a Dong context. We must remember also that Han Chinese from the city are much less accustomed to difference in culture and how to bridge that gap than most foreigners who come into China are.
This does not mean there is anything in particular that is wrong with teaming up with Han Chinese to reach the Dong people, but it is easy, as we look in from the outside, to never really think through these issues. Let's keep these things in mind as we pray.
O Lord and God of all peoples, our most well-thought-out plans are nothing in comparison with your divine workings. Please warn us when we begin to put more faith in our own thoughts than in your divine purpose and will. Humble our hearts as we come to you, draw us closer to you, and through your grace make us more like you. Then, and only then, when our lives reflect the love and peace that flows from you yourself, will we be able to manifest your gospel in "word and in truth".
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